September 8, 2020
KPMG must urgently re-engage with Debenhams workers – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment and Workers’ Rights Louise O’Reilly TD has said that KPMG must urgently re-engage with Debenhams workers, after their withdrawal of an agreement reached with the Mandate trade union last week.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The treatment of Debenhams workers in recent months has been appalling. They have been treated in an unfair and indefensible way, but they have shown determination in their campaign for fair conditions and they are entitled to fair treatment.

“Successive governments have failed to put protections in place to ensure that workers can’t be treated like this by their employer and the occupation of a number of Debenhams stores overnight is a sign of the frustration of workers.

“It has been announced this morning that KPMG have withdrawn the offer of an agreement reached with the Mandate trade union last Friday in light of this. This is entirely unacceptable. A ballot is underway and it is vital that workers are given the space to make up their minds on this issue. KPMG must immediately re-engage with the workers and their representatives. 

“The practice of engaging in tactical liquidations must end. In July, I published the Protection of Employees (Collective Redundancies) Bill 2020 to protect workers and to end this practice. The Tánaiste has the Duffy Cahill Report sitting on his desk and he needs to act on the recommendations without delay.

“I am committed to ensuring this legislation is enacted to ensure that other workers will be protected from being treated in the same unfair way as the Debenhams workers.”

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